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The best cold plunge tubs are making a splash in the workout recovery market. Cold therapy and cold exposure is a buzzy topic you’ve likely come across just scrolling through social media or listening to popular podcasts. 

To help those who are curious about cold plunging—or the potential health benefits of cold water therapy—but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, we tested The Cold Pod to see if this affordable cold plunge tub is worth it. We’ll let you know who it’s best suited for and dive into the details in The Cold Pod review. 

We’re Workout Recovery Experts 

Your friends at Garage Gym Reviews are well-versed in the world of strength, conditioning, and recovery. We’re staffed with fitness professionals who hold some of the gold standard credentials in the industry, including CrossFit Level 1 Trainers, and certified personal trainers from ACE, ISSA, NASM, and NSCA. 

Needless to say, our experts know a thing or two about training and active recovery. For The Cold Pod Review, GGR tester and ISSA-CPT, Lindsay Scheele used the no-frills ice bath a handful of times. Lindsay is an avid cold plunger and sauna user and loves to pair the two recovery methods together after her workouts. 

During the testing process, Lindsay used our in-depth fitness equipment testing methodology to score several different categories on a scale of 1 to 5, which we’ll cover in more detail throughout the review. Lindsay was tasked with scoring The Cold Pod on value, ergonomics, durability, and the ordering and assembly process, to name a few. 

The Cold Pod

The Cold Pod

GGR Score: 3.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Affordable
  • Single-person cold tub
  • Portable
  • Spacious

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Portable
  • Easy setup
  • Cover and carrying case included

Cons

  • No temperature control
  • Long shipping times for US customers

Bottom Line

The Cold Pod is one of the most affordable cold tubs on the market, though it lacks some tech features such as temperature control.

A Quick Look at The Cold Pod

The Cold Pod—not to be confused with The Pod Company, the manufacturer of The Ice Pod, a remarkably similar product—is based in the United Kingdom and ships worldwide. 

However, we found it easy to order The Cold Pod from Amazon. The brand manufactures several cold tub models including The Cold Pod XL, Elite Bath, and Elite Barrel. For the purposes of this review, we’ll focus on the original model: The Cold Pod. 

RELATED: Best Budget Home Gym Equipment on Amazon

Before You Buy

  • There is no chiller for temperature regulation on this cold tub. 
  • You’ll have to buy bags of ice if the water from your water tap isn’t cold enough for your liking. 
  • The Cold Pod is collapsible for easy portability and storage, but keep in mind it’s pretty much a PVC tub and may not have long-lasting durability. 

Is The Cold Pod Worth It?

The Cold Pod earns 4 out of 5 stars when it comes to value. It’s priced around $200 on Amazon, but we’ve seen it marked down for much less. At the time of writing this review, The Cold Pod was on sale under $100. And if you have Amazon Prime, you won’t need to worry about additional shipping fees. 

However, our tester Lindsay notes it’s not the most durable cold plunge option on the market. “This tub won’t last forever,” says Lindsay. “But, if you’re on a budget and really want a cold tub, I say sure, get The Cold Pod.” 

Woman taking lid off Cold Pod Tub

Keep in mind most cold tubs are priced over $2,000. For example, The Cold Plunge, which we discussed in detail in The Cold Plunge review, is priced at nearly $5,000. But at this price, you’ll get temperature regulation, water filtration, and a durable (and sleek-looking) acrylic tub. 

Great for:

  • Anyone looking for a budget-friendly option 
  • Folks who want a portable ice bath
  • People who don’t mind buying bags of ice

Not recommended for:

  • Anyone who wants temperature regulation 
  • Plungers looking for water filtration 
  • Folks with mobility issues 

The Cold Pod Specs

PriceUnder $200 on Amazon
Dimensions29.5” diameter x 29.5” H (90 cm x 90 cm) 
MaterialsVinyl, pearl foam, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) 
Product weight7.7 lbs (3.5 kg) 
Water capacity84.5 gallons (320 liters) 
Power requirementsNone
ExtrasDrain tap, insulated cover, support legs, pump, drain hose, carry bag
WarrantyN/A 

Using the The Cold Pod

GGR tester Lindsay used The Cold Pod for several 5-minute cold water immersion sessions before giving her full review. Additionally, Lindsay recruited GGR film director, Nathan Hay—who is about 10 inches taller than her at 6 feet and 2 inches tall—to use the cold plunge and gauge the ergonomics on both their heights. 

It’s a rather short cold tub at 29.5 inches tall and the same in diameter. While Lindsay thinks the portability is a nice feature, she also understands the small size is going to be a limiting factor for many home gym owners and wellness seekers. 

Woman stepping in The Cold Pod tub with one leg

Lindsay also didn’t enjoy adding ice to The Cold Pod and prefers cold plunge tubs with temperature regulation from a chiller. And as we mentioned previously, those types of tubs have price tags over $2,000. The Cold Pod is ideal for anyone who just wants a step up from a DIY cold plunge.  

RELATED: DIY Cold Plunge Ideas

Footprint and Portability

Lindsay scored The Cold Pod 5 out of 5 stars when it came to footprint and portability. The tank is 29.5 inches in diameter and 29.5 inches tall. It’s not bulky and is super portable when empty. When you decide to pack it up and stow it away, all you have to do is slip the support legs out from the tub lining. The rest of the tub is pliable and collapses into a carrying bag. 

Woman standing next to The Cold Pod

It’s 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms) dry. With an 84.5-gallon (320-liter) capacity, it’s about 680 pounds when filled with water. 

Durability and Construction

The Cold Pod earns a 2-star rating for durability. Lindsay wasn’t impressed with the PVC construction and even went as far to say that The Cold Pod is flimsy. 

The Cold Pod construction—which includes a PVC inner layer, a middle layer of pearl foam, and a vinyl exterior—is all pretty flexible and doesn’t hold the tank’s shape on its own. Lindsay notes the tension of the water is what prevents the PVC tub from collapsing in on itself. 

While that may not be a huge issue—because you will ultimately have your cold plunge filled with water—Lindsay says, “It’s actually hard to get out of The Cold Pod because you can’t support your body weight on the edge.”

Woman immersed in The Cold Pod tub

“To get out you need enough strength and mobility to stand up with just your legs,” she adds. 

It’s also important to understand that the PVC cold plunge tub doesn’t offer heavy-duty insulation. While The Cold Pod can be used indoors or outdoors, Lindsay notes if you live in an area with cold weather, “I would be worried that water freezing inside the pod could ruin the shape or material.” 

RELATED: How to Cold Plunge

Comfort and Ergonomics

The Cold Pod earns another low score in the ergonomics department with a 2-out-of-5-star rating from our tester Lindsay. It’s worth reiterating that it’s not easy to get out of the tub because you can’t support your body weight on the edges. This means folks with mobility issues (or strength training beginners) may find getting in and out of The Cold Pod difficult. 

Plus, it’s a super short tub that stands under 2.5 feet tall, so we can assume that most people are sitting down fully in the criss-cross-apple-sauce position. It’s also only 29.5 inches wide, which won’t be suitable for larger folks. 

Woman immersed in The Cold Pod tub

GGR film director Nathan Hay (who is over 6 feet tall) had to squeeze himself in when he tested The Cold Pod. His first impressions: not great. 

That said, Lindsay suggests The Cold Pod could be a fun way for kids and teens to dunk in cold water since it’s not too deep. But overall, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience for her. “It’s cramped, it wasn’t relaxing, and I wouldn’t want to use this as a part of my recovery routine,” says Lindsay. “I’d rather take a cold shower instead.” 

RELATED: Ice Bath vs Cold Shower

Woman getting in The Cold Pod

Lindsay thinks vertical cold plunge tubs need to be a little more spacious, like the ones we tested for our Nordic Wave Cold Plunge review and our Ice Barrel review (stay tuned for a side-by-side comparison of the Ice Barrel and Cold Pod later in this review). 

Draining and Cleaning

While The Cold Pod isn’t the most high-quality cold plunge tub we’ve tested, we appreciate that the draining and cleaning requirements are easy to follow. From our extensive cold tub testing experience, we’ve found that draining cold plunge tanks is not always easy. 

In fact, in our Redwood Outdoors Yukon Tub review, we detail the cleaning requirements of this inflatable tub, which needs to be drained every 48 hours to prevent the tub from bulging. And the drain spout isn’t situated at the bottom of the tub.

The Cold Pod earns 5 out of 5 stars in this category because the drain is situated at the very bottom of the tub. You can attach the drain port to a regular garden hose for draining into a sink or open the valve and let it drain if you’ve got it set up outdoors.  

The Cold Pod brand suggests changing the water once a week or using additives (like bromine or chlorine tablets) to keep the water sanitary for longer. 

The Cold Pod vs Ice Barrel 400

Ice Barrel

Ice Barrel

GGR Score: 2.9 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Cold therapy tub for full body immersion 
  • Made from recycled plastic
  • Comes with ice barrel, lid, step stool, etc. 
  • Holds 105 gallons of water
  • 31" barrel opening

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Made in USA
  • Available in two colors: black and desert tan
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to get in and out of
  • Refill with 40-100 lbs of ice very 1-3 days

Bottom Line

The Ice Barrel is a way to incorporate ice baths into your workout recovery routine without having to use your bathtub. The Ice Barrel requires at least 40 pounds of ice to achieve appropriate cold plunge temps. Once filled, the barrel can maintain its temperature for one to three days depending on the surrounding environment.

For portability reasons, The Cold Pod is comparable to many of the inflatable cold plunge tubs we’ve tested (like the one featured in our Sun Home Sauna Cold Plunge review). However, based on price, shape, and bare-bones design, we think the Ice Barrel is the most comparable ice bath we’ve tested to The Cold Pod. 

Neither the Ice Barrel nor The Cold Pod come equipped with a water chiller to regulate the temperature. Both rely on you adding ice to get the water to your desired temperature. But for beginners, groundwater temperature from your tap may be enough to get acclimated to cold plunge ice bath sessions. 

The Ice Barrel has a hard, recycled plastic exterior and weighs about 55 pounds dry. You won’t have any issues with it holding its shape, and it’s more suitable for a wide range of body shapes and sizes. But, some users may still find the 31-inch wide opening too narrow. We have even more details and specs in our Ice Barrel review

The Cold PodIce Barrel 400
PriceUnder $200 on Amazon$1,199.99
Dimensions29.5” diameter x 29.5” H (90 cm x 90 cm) 42” H x 31” W opening x 25” W
MaterialsVinyl, pearl foam, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Recycled plastic 
Product weight7.7 lbs (3.5 kg) 55 lbs 
Water capacity84.5 gallons (320 liters) 105 gallons
Power requirementsNoneNone
ExtrasDrain tap, insulated cover, support legs, pump, drain hose, carry bagLid, stand, stool, UV-protective cover
WarrantyN/A Lifetime warranty 

Ordering and Assembling The Cold Pod

Since The Cold Pod company is located in the UK, we used Amazon for fast and free shipping versus ordering directly from thecoldpod.com. When you use Amazon, your purchase is eligible for 30-day returns if you’re not satisfied. All you have to do is navigate to the “returns and orders” button on the top right corner of your Amazon browser to start the process. 

Once The Cold Pod arrived at GGR HQ, unboxing was super easy. Out of the box, you’ll have to use the included PVC pipes to support the tub liner. “It’s like setting up a little tent,” says Lindsay, who scored both the setup process and customer service experience 4 out of 5 stars. 

Woman in The Cold Pod

“It took less than 10 minutes to set up the tub. It will not require any prior assembly knowledge,” she adds. Plus, Lindsay mentions that because there are no chiller or power requirements, you can set it up anywhere as long as you have a level surface. The only time-consuming process was filling the 85-gallon tank. Depending on your water pressure, the amount of time will vary.

Customer Reviews

On Amazon, The Cold Pod has a 4.3-out-of-5-star average rating based on over 200 reviews. About 68% of customers gave The Cold Pod a 5-star rating, with one happy customer noting the affordable ice bath was a game changer to their recovery routine. 

The negative ice bath reviews question the overall durability and longevity of The Cold Pod. Some customers even experienced leaking right away. 

Final Verdict of The Cold Pod Review

While The Cold Pod offers an inexpensive price tag, this is not a cold plunge tub we recommend to everyone. It’s not ideal for tall people or bigger folks. The Cold Pod is also not suitable for anyone who lacks mobility because you can’t lean into the sides to get out of it. We recommend this pop-up tub for anyone who: 

  • Is under 6 feet tall 
  • Can stand up from sitting on the floor without assistance
  • Doesn’t want to spend much more than $200 on a cold plunge
  • Won’t mind buying ice bags to make the water colder

Full Rating

The Cold Pod

The Cold Pod is one of the most affordable cold tubs on the market, though it lacks some tech features such as temperature control.

Product Brand: The Cold Pod

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 159.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.4

The Cold Pod Rating

Value – 4
Footprint and portability – 5
Delivery and setup – 4
Durability and construction  – 2
Ergonomics – 2
Tech and conveniences  – 1
Draining and cleaning – 5
Customer service – 4
Customer reviews  – 4.4
Buy Now

The Cold Pod: FAQs

Is The Cold Pod good?

The Cold Pod is an affordable option that is more suitable for shorter folks. The dimensions and the low-to-the ground position of the plunge may not accommodate a wide range of shapes, sizes, and abilities. 

How long do you stay in The Cold Pod?

If you’re an ice bath beginner, you may be able to tolerate 30 to 60 seconds during your first few experiences with cold water immersion. With practice, you may be able to tolerate a few minutes at a time. From our experience, most folks (even ice bath veterans) expose themselves to cold water for less than 20 minutes. 

Is cold plunging actually good for you?

In our guide to ice bath benefits, we cover potential mental and physical health benefits of cold water exposure. Some of those benefits include immune system support1 and stress management2 when paired with breathing techniques like the Wim Hof method. 

References

  1. Kox M, van Eijk LT, Zwaag J, et al. Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(20):7379-7384. doi:10.1073/pnas.1322174111
  2. Srámek P, Simecková M, Janský L, Savlíková J, Vybíral S. Human physiological responses to immersion into water of different temperatures. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000;81(5):436-442. doi:10.1007/s004210050065

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